Tigers win final game of season at Crown College

Campbellsville-Somerset’s Deion Finnison was all smiles after Monday night’s season finale. The Tigers freshman scored 21 of his team-high 23 points in the second half, helping Al Gover’s club finish the season with an impressive, 100-73 win over Crown College.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

Before his club’s last game of the 2019-’20 basketball season on Monday night at Crown College, Campbellsville-Somerset head coach Al Gover jokingly referred to year number two of the Tigers basketball program as ‘The Adventure Express’.

And for good reason.

Year number two for Gover and the Tigers was definitely an adventure to say the very least.



On Monday night — playing in their final game of the season at Crown College in Powell, Tennessee — Gover and the Tigers kept one streak in tact at least.

Monday’s tilt was game number 28 on the season for the CU-Somerset Tigers, and for the 28th consecutive game, Gover did not have his full roster in uniform and on the bench for the contest.

Yes, it’s been that kind of season for coach Gover and the Tigers — one with injury, after injury, after injury.

Yet, CU-Somerset hung tough and ended the season on a positive note.

CU-Somerset’s freshman forward Deion Finnison scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half, helping the Tigers wither a furious second half comeback by the Royal Crusaders, en route to a 100-73 win by Gover and company — a company on Monday night that dressed seven healthy bodies for the game.

The win ended the Tigers season at 8-20 on the year, but it was at least a positive way to end a very trying and draining season.

“This season was a grind, and we did nickname it ‘The Adventure Express’, because we never knew from game to game who was going to be playing, and who was going to be out,” stated a very relieved and happy coach Gover immediately following the contest.

“We played 28 games this season, and we were never at 100 percent for any game this year, because we always had one or two or three or more players out of the lineup for various reasons,” added the Tigers head coach. “And at this level, that makes it very tough when you’re a young program and you’re trying to build something from the ground up.”



It was Crown College that made a statement early, racing out to a 14-4 lead over CU-Somerset, but once the Tigers got things going after Gover called a timeout, they really got going.

Sophomore guard Antwan Hurt scored 17 of his 21 points in the opening half of play, helping the Tigers get off the mat from that early 10-point deficit to grab a 47-36 lead over the Royal Crusaders by halftime.

In the second frame, Crown College then took one last run at Somerset.

Guard Tanner Koske drained a pair of three’s, along with teammate Seth Sullivan, helping the Royal Crusaders cut the CU-Somerset lead down to a single digit at 54-53 with just over five minutes gone by in the second half.

No worries — Somerset would respond.

The Tigers sealed the game at that juncture, going on a 13-0 run to take a 67-53 lead at the midway point of the second half, and Gover’s club would not really be threatened again, eventually building the lead up to the final margin of 27 points, at 100-73.

“This was a nice win to close out the season for our team, and we only had seven guys that were able to dress for it, but they played hard and they gave a very good effort,” pointed out Gover.

“Now, we’ve got to get out there on the recruiting trail and try to bring some new kids into the program to mix in with the guys that we will have returning for year number three next season,” added the Tigers coach. “We’ve laid a solid groundwork over the past two years, and we expect some big things next year, and I’m chomping at the bit to get started.”



With the win, the Tigers finished the season with an 8-20 record, following up last season’s 8-19 mark in the first year of the program.

Finnison led CU-Somerset in Monday’s win with 23 points, Hurt tallied 21 points, Meith Reclow added 20 points, while Nick Longmire chipped in with 13 points, and Kenyan McKee added 10 points.



Tigers fall in home finale to arch-rival Pioneers

Campbellsville-Somerset head basketball coach Al Gover saw his club hit 19 three-pointers on Thursday night against Campbellsville-Harrodsburg, but even that wouldn’t be enough, as the Pioneers dropped the Tigers in their home finale by a 91-86 margin.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

The Campbellsville-Somerset Tigers welcomed in the Campbellsville-Harrodsburg Pioneers on Thursday night in their final home game of the season, and Al Gover’s club hit a season-high 19 three-pointers against their arch-rival, and even that wouldn’t be enough.

The Pioneers erased an eight-point second half deficit to rally to knock off the Tigers 91-86, dropping CU-Somerset to 7-20 on the season with one game left to play.

Sophomore Jalen Howard hit eight of those three’s for the Tigers and led all scorers with a game-high 26 points. However, Gover’s club — even with that kind of effort — couldn’t get over the proverbial hump once again, losing another close contest.



Despite those made 19 three-point baskets, the Tigers were on the wrong side of one stat — the Pioneers outscored Gover’s club in the paint by a whopping, 50-16 margin for the contest — a large reason why CU-Somerset was denied a much-needed win.

“A game like this one, players make plays and we made some plays tonight, but we just didn’t make enough,” lamented coach Gover immediately following the contest.

“Defensively, I didn’t think we were as good as we had been over our last three games,” Gover added. “We gave up 47 points in the first half tonight, and we just didn’t guard like we needed to guard.”

In an early sign that was maybe a warning signal for coach Gover, the visiting Pioneers made 10 of their first 11 field goal attempts in the contest, racing out to a lead over the Tigers.

However, thanks to that prolific three-point shooting — 19-38 from behind the arc for the contest — the Tigers were able to stay in this one.

Howard drained one of his eight treys just before the horn sounded ending the first half, giving CU-Somerset a 48-47 lead over CU-Harrodsburg at the intermission.

In the second frame, the Tigers went up by eight points with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game at 62-54.

That lead would not last for long however.



Behind the play of guards Jamal Weaver and Antoine Darby, the Pioneers would rally.

In fact, Harrodsburg led Somerset 71-64 with just over nine minutes left in the contest — and at that juncture — Gover and crew would rally and fight back.

Kenyan McKee would score eight consecutive points in a stretch that would see the Tigers reclaim the lead at 80-79 over Harrodsburg with 4:42 left on the clock, but it would be the visiting Pioneers making a few plays down the stretch to hold back a pesky Tigers club, that only dressed seven players for the contest.

“We preach to our guys to play good defense and stay out of foul trouble,” pointed out Gover.

“We can’t be sloppy on defense, and we did a pretty good job of doing that tonight,” continued the Tigers head coach. “I was pleased with our effort and I think our kids are growing up a bit.”

The Tigers placed five players in double figures in the contest, led by Howard with his game-high 26 points.

Kenyan McKee and Meith Reclow each tallied 14 points, while Nick Longmire and Deion Finnison each added 10 points.

The Tigers — 7-20 on the season — will end the season on Monday night at Crown College.





Tigers get second win in three days with 92-79 win over Boyce College

CU-Somerset’s Kenyan McKee scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half on Saturday, helping lead the Tigers to a 92-79 win over visiting Boyce College.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

After snapping an eight-game losing streak on Thursday night with a hard-fought win at Simmons College, the Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers returned home on Saturday afternoon at Pulaski County High School and notched their second win in three days.

Al Gover’s club raced out to a 22-point lead by the intermission over visiting Boyce College, and cruised from there, leading the Bulldogs from wire to wire with an impressive, 92-79 victory.

“I think today was maybe one of our better performances all year, especially in the first half with our offensive patience, and getting the shots that we wanted to get,” stated a very happy Gover after his club’s win.



“We didn’t shoot a lot of bad shots that led to transition baskets for the other team, and we’re getting better in those areas, and I think it showed today in the first half,” added the Tigers coach. “We knocked down shots, because we got better shots out of our offense, instead of our guys going out there and trying to create their own shots.”

Campbellsville-Somerset took control of things early on, racing out to a very comfortable, 57-35 lead over the Bulldogs by halftime.

And, it was because of the great shot selection within the offense by the Tigers that coach Gover eluded to.

Seven CU-Somerset players hit the scoring column in the opening half of play, led by reserve Kenyan McKee, who tallied 15 of his 17 points in the contest in the first half off the bench.

The Tigers – leading Boyce College by that 22-point margin at the intermission – was never really threatened in the second half, as Gover’s club rolled to the 92-79 victory, improving to 7-19 on the season.

The win over the Bulldogs – CU-Somerset’s third game in as many days – culminated a tough stretch for Gover’s club, who has been hampered with key injuries all season long.

Case in point; the Tigers only dressed eight players for Saturday’s contest against Boyce College, but for this season at least, that’s a trend that coach Gover has grown accustomed to – not knowing day in and day out who was going to be available to suit up and play.

“It’s been a struggle with this team this year, because we never really knew who we were going to have from day to day,”lamented Gover.



“We’ve had all kinds of injuries throughout the year, and we’ve had setback after setback, but to our kid’s credit, they’ve kept fighting and they’ve battled,” stated the CU-Somerset head coach. “Their effort was really good today I thought, but this was our third game in three days, and there in the second half it was pretty evident at least to me that our guys legs were pretty much gone.”

Deion Finnison led a balanced scoring attack for CU-Somerset in the win, leading the Tigers with a game-high 22 points.

McKee added 17 points in the win, Antwan Hurt tallied 15 points, while TC Wright had 12 points, and Meith Reclow – despite fighting foul trouble for much of the day – also hit for double figures with 11 points.

The Tigers will return to action on Thursday night for their home finale of the season, playing host to arch-rival Campbellsville-Harrodsburg.

Game time is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be played at Somerset Christian School.

Admission to the game is free.



Tigers fall in overtime to University of Cincinnati-Clermont

Campbellsville-Somerset sophomore wing Malik Lovan came off the bench on Saturday to score 18 points, but it wouldn’t be enough, as the Tigers fell to Cincinnati-Clermont in overtime 99-92.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

Forget about the old sports adage, ‘Feast or Famine’.

For Al Gover and the Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers, Saturday’s game against visiting Cincinnati-Clermont was a version of ‘Famine-Feast-Famine’.

And as a result of the latter, it was Gover and the Tigers dropping another heartbreaker, falling to the visiting Cougars by a final score of 99-92 in overtime.



The culprit in this one you might ask?

As has been the case for much of the season, what did in the Tigers on Saturday was missed opportunities at the charity stripe, and costly turnovers at winning time.

CU-Somerset was 0-3 from the free throw line in the overtime period – one of those being the front end of a one and one – and the University of Cincinnati-Clermont took advantage.

The Cougars didn’t hardly miss a shot in the extra session – from the field or the free throw line for that matter – dropping CU-Somerset to 5-14 on the season with a fourth consecutive loss.

“In overtime in a close game like that, free throws are obviously very crucial, and we just didn’t make them today when it mattered,” lamented coach Al Gover immediately following the game.

“We had several turnovers today, and we had two or three in a row with just about a minute and half to go in the game,” added the Tigers head coach. “When you fail to cash in at the free throw line, and you have two or three turnovers in a row at crunch time in a close game against a quality opponent like Cincinnati-Clermont, it’s going to get you beat, and that’s exactly what happened to us today.”

For Campbellsville-Somerset to even get back in this game was impressive.

The Cougars came out of the gate and threw and landed what looked to be the proverbial knockout punch against CU-Somerset from the very outset.



Cincinnati-Clermont jumped out in front of Somerset 22-6 early on, but Gover’s crew would not go down without a fight.

TC Wright paced the way for the homestanding Tigers with 22 points, while Malik Lovan came off the CU-Somerset bench to add 18 points.

Thanks to weathering that early storm, the Tigers only trailed this one at the intermission by a score of 47-41.

Early in the second half, CU-Somerset maintained the momentum in this affair.

In fact, at about the midway point of the second frame, it was the Tigers with a nine-point lead over Cincinnati-Clermont, leading the Cougars by a 65-56 margin.

However, coach Steve Ellis and the Cougars had one final run left as well.

UCC fought back from that nine-point deficit, and actually took a 79-76 lead late in the contest, but with his club down 82-80, Lovan scored a basket on a nice move down in the paint for the Tigers, forcing the game into overtime at 82-82.

In that extra five-minute session, the Cougars played an almost flawless five minutes of basketball, hitting shot after shot, while the Tigers missed those three crucial free throws, while turning the ball over on three consecutive possessions late in the OT period.



Ballgame!

“Right now, we just have way too many trips down the floor for whatever reason, we’re just not focused and ready to execute and get the job done,” Gover stated.

“I mean you’re up eight or nine points in the game with about eight minutes to go – you keep that lead by guarding and rebounding– and we lost focus at that juncture, and we didn’t do either of those things very well in that stretch coming down to the end of the game,” added the CU-Somerset coach.

Besides Wright and Lovan, CU-Somerset put three other players in double figures in the loss.

Jalen Howard had 17 points, Antwan Hurt added 12 points, and AJ Thomas netted 10 points for the Tigers.

For the University of Cincinnati-Clermont, the Cougars were led by Kort Justice who tallied a game-high 26 points, while John Aicholtz added 23 points, Clay Spivey tallied 19 points, and David Hunter had 18 points.

The Tigers – 5-14 on the season – will return to action this coming weekend, playing a pair of games at Great Lakes Christian College up in Lansing, Michigan.

CU-Somerset’s next home game is on Friday, February 14th at 7:30 p.m. against Grace Christian College at Somerset Christian School.



Admission to the game is free.



Tigers run out of gas, fall to UMW 99-86

Sophomore guard AJ Thomas scored 20 points on Saturday afternoon, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Tigers fell to 5-12 on the season with a 99-86 loss to Mississippi Women’s College.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

Head coach Al Gover and the Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers simply can not get a break — unless it’s a bone to one of the Tigers players.

With the news that leading scorer Keelan Kennedy had been lost for the season with a torn Achillies injury, Gover and the Tigers took to the court on Saturday afternoon once again playing with a depleted roster, only dressing eight players.

And, visiting Mississippi Women’s College took full advantage.



Despite a valiant effort, Gover and the Tigers succumbed to fatigue in the second half, eventually falling to the visiting Owls by a final score of 99-86, falling to 5-12 on the season.

“I’m proud of the people that we had out there today, and I’m very proud of the effort,” stated coach Gover immediately following the contest.

“You could see in the second half that we just didn’t have the giddy up in our step like we did in the first half,” lamented the Tigers head coach. “That comes from playing 39 to 40 minutes, and in a college basketball game, you just can’t do that.”

With starting center Meith Reclow — who has only played one game this season — out again due to various reasons — Gover and the Tigers had to play for much of the game with five guards, due to an early injury to center Deion Finnison.

Finnison scored eight points early on and was playing very well, but he left the game barely 10 minutes into the contest after taking a hard hit to his head against the floor.

Still, the Tigers were more than holding their own.

CU-Somerset led by as many as 14 points in the first half at 34-20, but with five guards on the floor being forced to play for much of the game due to that severe lack of depth, UMW took advantage.

The Owls took their first lead of the contest with just over 15 minutes left in the game at 54-53, and Gover’s club could never get over the proverbial hump to get back out in front after relinquishing the lead.



The Owls shot 55.2 percent from the field in the second half, hitting on 16-29 field goal attempts, taking advantage of CU-Somerset’s fatigue which was setting in, along with a big-time size advantage on the interior.

“We do have some injuries right now, but we’ve got some situations where it’s just a lack of responsibility,” pointed out coach Gover.

“If we could put everybody together and have everybody take care of their business, we would be a pretty good team in my opinion,” added the Tigers coach. “However, until some of our guys do the things they need to do, we’re going to continue to struggle with a lack of depth.”

Tavonta Jones led the Owls in the win, as he scored a game-high 32 points for UMW, while Tre Pinkston added 16 points and Milos Zeradjanin scored 13 of his 15 points for the game in the second half.

Meanwhile, CU-Somerset got a team-high 25 points from freshman guard TC Wright, while AJ Thomas added 20 points.

Sophomore guard Antwan Hurt also hit for double figures in the loss for the Tigers with 11 points.

CU-Somerset — 5-12 on the season — will return to action on Monday night, going on the road to Knoxville to square off against Crown College.

The Tigers will return home on Saturday afternoon, January 25th at Somerset Christian School to take on the University of Cincinnati-Clermont.



That game is slated to tip off at 1 p.m. Admission to the game is FREE!



Tigers hold back Simmons College 88-85

Campbellsville-Somerset’s Meith Reclow made a successful season debut on Monday night, scoring 18 points and pulling down eight rebounds helping the Tigers to a hard-fought, 88-85 win over Simmons College.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

After a four-week layoff, the Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers returned to action on Monday night at Somerset Christian School, and Al Gover’s club held on down the stretch for a much-needed win.

Deion Finnison led CU-Somerset with 22 points, TC Wright added 21 points, and Meith Reclow made a successful season debut with 18 points, helping the Tigers win back to back games for the first time this season with a hard-fought, 88-85 win over Simmons College out of Louisville.

“I was really pleased with our kid’s effort tonight,” stated a very happy coach Gover after the game.



“After having so much time off between games, I didn’t know for sure what to expect, but we had been back with a week of practice before this game, so I thought we would come out and play well,” added the Tigers head coach. “We had practiced really hard leading up to this game, and I’m extremely proud with how well we competed.”

This game was a back and forth affair for much of the contest, with Simmons College holding a slim, 47-45 lead over the Tigers at halftime.

The Falcons – coached by former University of Louisville standout guard Jerry Eaves – came out of the gate and shot the lights out early on, especially from downtown.

Guard Jonathon Henry made 6-7 field goal attempts from behind the three-point arc in the opening half of play, scoring 20 of his 29 points in the first half.

Still, the Tigers were right there with Simmons College, aided in large part by Reclow, who made his season debut for Somerset.

Reclow tallied 18 points and pulled down eight boards in the win, and he led CU-Somerset on a huge run early in the second half, helping the Tigers take control of the contest.

Thanks to a 13-0 spurt by CU-Somerset early in the second frame, Gover and crew led this one 67-54, and eventually built up the lead to as many as 14 points at 70-56, before Simmons College would rally.

Thanks to a 16-4 run by the visiting Falcons, Simmons had trimmed the Somerset lead down to only 74-72 with 8:04 remaining in the contest.



From that point on, the Falcons had three different opportunities to tie the game or take the lead with a three, and on all three trips at the defensive end of the court, it was CU-Somerset that came up with a big-time stop, on each of those three possessions, when the Tigers needed a defensive stop at winning time.

“When you have a big lead like we had there in the second half, it comes down to defensive rebounding,” pointed out Gover.

“With the game on the line, we did get defensive stops and we got on the defensive boards,” added the CU-Somerset coach. “We did what we needed to do, and I’m very pleased with the win.”

Despite the win, and despite the fact the Tigers got Reclow back for the first time from injury, and also saw the season debut of guard Jaylen Howard, Somerset still hasn’t had its full roster for a game for the entire season.

Keelan Kennedy – who had been on a tear for CU-Somerset scoring 111 points over the Tigers last three games headed into the Christmas break – was out on Monday night due to a leg injury suffered in a pickup game over the holidays.

For Gover, it’s been get one or two back, and see one or two go down with injury for the entire season, and on Monday night, it was just more of the same for the Tigers head coach.

“We haven’t had everybody together for the entire year, and I was really looking forward coming back from the break and having everybody together, but it just didn’t work out that way,” stated Gover.

“I feel pretty good about this bunch, and I’d like to have that other scorer out there, but the other kids are just going to have to step it up,” continued the Tigers coach. “Meith (Reclow) did a really good job with his first game back, and he’s a kid that can really score the basketball.”



Malik Lovan also hit for double figures in the win for the Tigers with 14 points, helping CU-Somerset improve to 5-10 on the season.

Gover and the Tigers will return to action on Thursday night at Elizabethtown Community College, before returning home on Saturday at 3 p.m. to face the University of Mississippi Women’s College.

That game will be at Somerset Christian School, and admission to the game is absolutely FREE!!



Tigers end first half of season with big-time win

Campbellsville-Somerset University’s Keelan Kennedy scored a game-high 29 points on Monday night, helping lead the Tigers to a 114-75 win over Elizabethtown Community College.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

The Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers gave head coach Al Gover an early Christmas present on Monday night at Somerset Christian School.

Playing Elizabethtown Community College in the final game of the first half of the season, Gover’s club turned up the intensity at the defensive end of the floor, forcing the Barons into a mind-boggling 38 turnovers for the contest.

The Tigers tallied 30 steals, and put six players in double figures, on their way to an impressive, 114-75 beatdown over Elizabethtown CC.



The win improved Campbellsville-Somerset’s won-loss record to 4-10 on the season, and it was a win that was a much-needed victory.

The Tigers had lost their previous three games by a total of 12 points, but on Monday night, Gover and crew put this issue away early on in an impressive performance.

“I told our guys that we needed to pick up the tempo tonight, because we came out a little lethargic and let them hang around with us for a while,” pointed out coach Gover.

“I told our guys to get up and down the court, play defense, and just go play,”added the Tigers head coach. “When we started to doing that, defensively, I thought we got a little better. We held them to 75 points, and that was our goal before the game, to hold them to 75 points or less.”

The Tigers – after the first five minutes of the contest – to this game by the throat.

Still, Elizabethtown CC stayed close, only trailing the Tigers 52-39 at the intermission thanks to 18 points from Trey Richardson.

However,the Barons wilted in the second, turning the ball over 38 times, thanks to those 30 steals by the Tigers.

Meanwhile,at the offensive end of the court, Gover’s club – with only eight players dressed in uniform – put on an offensive clinic at times.



Keelan Kennedy – who has been on a tear of late – led the Tigers with 29 points. Kennedy was one of six players that CU-Somerset had hit double figures for the contest.

Deion Finnison added 19 points, while leading the Tigers with a game-high 15 rebounds, while Antwan Hurt and TJ Owes each added 17 points.

TC Wright chipped in with 11 points and Jacorion Johnson added 10 points, on a night when the Tigers deserved and got a much-needed victory.

“Everybody that came in tonight contributed to this win, and I think we had six guys in double figures, and Nick (Longmire) had eight points and had seven rebounds, so he contributed in more ways than just scoring,” stated Gover.

“It is gratifying to see kids that work hard every day and come into the game and produce while they’re in there,” added the CU-Somerset head coach. “I’m proud of Nick and all of our guys with their performance tonight.”

The Tigers – 4-10 on the season – will have about a four-week layoff before resuming play in January.

CU-Somerset’s next game will be on January 13th at Somerset Christian School, when the Tigers will host Simmons College out of Louisville.

That game is set to get underway at 7:30 p.m.



ECC – 39 36 – 75

CU-S – 52 62 – 114

Elizabethtown CC – Richardson 32, George 18, Pearsol 7, Height 6, Mumford 6, Garrison 4, Boulware 2.

CU-Somerset– Kennedy 29, Finnison 19, Owes 17, Hurt 17, Wright 11, Johnson 10, Longmire 8, Thomas 3.